Q&A: Yvette Nacer

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Nickelodeon’s Yvette Nacer just released her newest single and music video for “Who We Were Before.” Best known for her role as Kiki in The Emmy-Winning Series The Fresh Beat Band and for her role as Cha Cha in FOX’s Grease: Live, Nacer actually started out in the music industry. In fact, throughout her career she’s performed alongside some of the biggest names in music, including Jason Mraz, Wyclef Jean, All-4-One, Ne-Yo, Gloria Estefan, Engelbert Humperdink, Justin Bieber, among others.

We wanted to learn more about this multi-talented artist to we reached out to her to talk about what inspires her to sing and perform, what her experience on Grease: Live was like, and what she prefers more between singing or acting.

What is your first musical memory?

My earliest memory was when I was really little, my mom made me a cardboard violin and showed me and my sisters how to hold it. At three, that’s when I started taking violin lessons and officially fell in love with music.

What does music mean to you?

Music is everything. It has been my best friend for as long as I can remember.

Yvette Nacer

What inspires you to sing and perform?

Music, singing, and performing makes me feel alive. I want to live to the fullness of my potential and if I can do what inspires me, it might inspire others to do what makes them feel alive too.

As an actress, you are Yvette, but as a singer, you are Ava Gold. How are the two different?

You could say I had a little Ava Gold moment, but decided this year to release music under my name again and just be myself, Yvette Nacer.

You played the role of “Cha Cha” in Grease: Live. What did you learn most from this experience?

Getting to work with such an incredible cast. Everyone from Carly Rae Jepsen and Keke Palmer to Vanessa Hudgens and Julianne Hough was inspiring to me. And I was honored to be a part of such good company. I honestly learned so much from everyone.

Since the film was such a huge undertaking — production-wise — I think the biggest lesson for me was that all you can do is prepare as much as possible, but then you have to let go, and just have fun!

Do you find it challenging to be taken seriously in the industry as a singer when you come from an acting background?

Music has always been my first love and was my background before acting. I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to work as an actress on projects where I’ve been able to incorporate some of my musical skills. For example, shows like Grease: Live on FOX, the animated show Goldie & Bear on Disney and The Fresh Beat Band on Nickelodeon, where I had the opportunity to sing, dance, act and play the guitar and violin!

You have experience with acting, singing, and performing instruments. Is there one that you enjoy more than the others?

I think I go through phases where I do enjoy one more than the other. But I’m quite lucky that I have them all in my life.

What do you enjoy most: acting in a live setting or singing and why?

I love singing. There’s something about being vulnerable in front of an audience and letting the music sweep me off my feet.

What big projects do you have lined up this year?

I’m releasing another music video next month for my single “Santería.” I’m finishing up an EP, as well as an album slated for release later this year called Better Human.

I have some shows coming up in Los Angeles and wrote some music that is going to be featured in Don Fogelman’s upcoming film Life, Itself (out in theaters this June). I’m also currently producing my first feature film and developing several other shows.

What’s one thing that many people would be surprised to find out about you?

I’m a learn-aholic!

Photos courtesy of Pendulum PR

An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.